No. 3-seeded Richland rallies to defeat Powers Lake in state quarterfinals, 65-63

Al Christianson/Special to the MDN Richland’s Gavin Reiland hangs in the air for a layup during the Colts’ 65-63 win over Powers Lake on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Class B boys basketball state tournament at the Minot State Dome.

Exhale.

It took a furious fourth-quarter comeback, but No. 3-seeded Richland found a way in its Class B boys basketball state tournament opener against Powers Lake at the Minot State Dome. When the final buzzer sounded, the Colts escaped with a slim 65-63 victory.

“I just told the kids we had to keep battling and play our game,” Richland head coach Cody Reiland said. “All of those boys did something to contribute for us to get the win.”

Richland found itself in a hole due to some stellar shooting from Powers Lakers through the first three quarters. The Ranchers torched the net and shot 10-for-17 (59 percent) from behind the arc.

Most of the long-range damage came courtesy of 6-foot-1 junior Isaac Nordloef. The 285-pound forward, who is also an offensive lineman for the football team, made the Colts pay for not respecting his shot and drained all three of his attempts from deep.

Al Christianson/Special to the MDN Powers Lake’s Isaac Nordloef (10) shoots a 3-pointer from the left corner during the Ranchers’ 65-63 loss to Richland on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Class B boys basketball state tournament at the Minot State Dome.

“(Powers Lake) just shot the lights out,” Reiland said. “They definitely have some kids that can shoot.”

Senior Noah Fredrickson capped off the third quarter in style by draining a corner triple at the buzzer to give the Ranchers a 54-47 edge heading into the final frame.

Despite staring down the barrel of a seven-point deficit with eight minutes potentially left in their season, the Colts didn’t flinch.

“We’ve been down before,” Richland senior Hunter Lentz said. “It wasn’t anything we didn’t think we could handle, so we knew we could come back from that.”

Richland upped its intensity out of the break in an effort to get back into the game. Leading the comeback was the duo of Gavin Reiland and Colten Evanson, who combined for 11 fourth-quarter points to knot the score at 63 with just under two minutes remaining.

Carter Lingen finally got the Colts back on top 30 seconds later by going 1-for-2 from the free throw line to give his team a slim 64-63 edge.

Now, it was time to get some stops.

Lentz was happy to oblige. The senior preserved the lead at the one-minute mark by swatting away a layup from Powers Lake’s Kyle VanBerkom.

“I was just helping over,” Lentz said. “I rose up and blocked it, and I could hear the crowd cheering. It felt good.”

Next to deliver was Lingen. Up 64-63 with 25 seconds remaining, the junior contested a corner triple by Fredrickson to force the miss.

But the Ranchers got one last chance at redemption. After forcing a turnover on a Richland inbound to regain possession with eight seconds left, Powers Lake got the ball down low to Aiden Nordloef.

The senior caught the ball under the basketball with two seconds remaining and went up strong. Evanson met him at the rim and got a hand in his face to affect the shot. The ball bounced high off the glass, grazed the right side of the rim and bounced out.

Evanson secured the board with less than a second on the clock, got fouled and went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe to secure the Colts’ 65-63 win.

Fredrickson led the Ranchers with a team-high 18 points, while Aiden Nordloef recorded 17 points in a loss that marks the end of the team’s state title hopes.

Powers Lake falls to the consolation bracket, where it’ll face Beulah today at

1 p.m.

“It was a hard fought game,” Powers Lake head coach Jordan Carlson said. “The kids played hard, but we fell a little bit short at the end. That’s how it goes.”

Gavin Reiland scored a game-high 19 points for the Colts. The junior struck gold from close range, as he earned most of his points by attacking the rim.

“We just set those screens, got mismatches and took it to the hole,” Gavin Reiland said. “My shooting wasn’t going well, so I had to do something else.”

Another three Richland players finished with double-digit points in the win: Evanson (13), Lentz (13) and Cole Myers (12).

With the win, the Colts advance to the semifinals to take on No. 2-seeded Shiloh Christian at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s so exciting,” Cody Reiland. “We’re just going to rest a little bit, watch some film and get prepared.”

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.

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